Washington, Sept 7 : With United States getting the most Olympic medals and China winning the most golds, it might seem difficult to rank the nations. But, according to a leading statistician, both the countries are 'dead even'.
"Every four years, the question of how to rank countries comes up," said Knut Wittkowski, the Rockefeller University statistician who performed the analysis.
"The large number of conflicting rankings attests to the fact that it's not easy to present an answer. This year, some rankings show the U.S. on top while others show China," Wittkowski added.
The new method of ranking is unique in a way that it does not assign any particular weights to the medal categories but merely assumes that gold counts more than silver and silver counts more than bronze.
Then, using multivariate analysis to compare each country's wins to those of every other country, it's possible to determine an overall ranking that does not depend on subjective assumptions about the relative value of each medal.
Using this means of analysis, which was developed at Rockefeller and has also been applied to medical data, Web-based comparison shopping, real estate valuation and financial investments, China and the U.S. each score ahead of all other countries except each other.
Russia takes third place, the United Kingdom fourth and Germany and Australia are tied for fifth.